The United States recently announced it will not support an
international ban on the trade of polar bear products at an upcoming
meeting on endangered species.
In a statement released last week, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service says it remains concerned about the commercial
use of polar bear hides, but it says it won’t encourage the ban.
The agency says in a statement it will instead focus on mitigating climate change impacts to polar bears as the largest threat to the long term survival of the species.
Inuit leaders and organizations from Canada have been lobbying the US for
the last year. Polar bear sport hunting is an important economic industry for the
Delegates from across the globe will meet in South Africa this fall at the
Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora, or CITES Conference.
The 2013 CITES Conference was the last time the
US attempted to ban the international trade of polar bear products.
Forty-two countries voted against the ban and 38 voted in favor of it.